Former PNG professionals plan to open coffee shop on Stephen Avenue

CALGARY, Alberta – Downtown Calgary will have a new vendor opening its doors on April 1st, 2014, just in time for the the very busy spring and summer seasons along the iconic pedestrian shopping mall known as Stephen Avenue.

The new shop, called The Swabbing Cup, is set to challenge Starbucks, Phil and Sebastians, Second Cup, and other specialty coffee shops along the strip, with its novel take on a traditional coffee shop. The Swabbing Cup was founded, and is operated, by former PNG professionals for PNG professionals. The niche cafe’s principal owner describes the genesis for the idea:

Mike Litorus, Founder, The Swabbing Cup

I’ve been working in downtown Calgary over almost 25 years and I’ve probably consumed more coffee in that period than anybody can imagine. But all of the shops, from Timmies to Cafe Artigianos, had something missing, they just weren’t right.

They needed something more than just coffee and treats, they needed something technical, something related to what most of the downtown Calgary crowd do, day in and day out. So after cashing in some of my founders stock over at Turmoileen Oil, I grabbed a couple of buddies and we started The Swabbing Cup. – Mike Litorus, Founder

According to people who have been involved in the coffee shop’s trial period, the new oil and gas themed shop, “has really hit the nail right smack-dab on the head, and hit it hard.” Sources close to the shop’s 6-person ownership team, which comprises 2 engineers, a geologist, a geophysicist, a landman, and a joint-venture specialist, have compiled a list of the shop features that will set it apart from its competition.

Coffee Names: Traditional drip-brewed coffee comes in 3 varieties ranging from light to dark, labelled 50 API, 30 API, and 10 API.

Commodity-based Pricing: The prices for all of the company’s offerings are calculated as a function of prevailing Brent crude oil and Henry Hub natural gas spot prices; they may fluctuate throughout the day.

Reserves Classified Remaining Quantities: The reserves of a particular type of coffee is displayed on a large computer screen, with a classification that indicates the percentage chance that the quantity you ordered will be available. In this system, Proved means that there is a 90% chance that it is available; Proved + Probable a 50% chance, and Proved + Probable + Possible a 10% chance.

Hedge-based Prepaid Cards: The company will offer special prepaid cards that can be purchased on a hedge price for a given type of coffee to be purchased. The hedge price can be set for 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month periods.

The “Dry Hole”, as delivered.

Flagship Coffees: Although details around some of these drinks are sketchy at this point, the source describes some of the drinks as follows:

  • Frackaccino: This is the company’s marquee offering which is brewed by forcing boiling water under very high pressure through a brick of very densely packed grinds. The idea is that the water builds up to above the brick’s formation parting pressure, and the water rushes through the grinds for a perfect brew.
  • Dry Hole: A coffee with only grinds, no water. You need to pour your own water to brew it. The idea is that it mimics the risks associated with drilling a well.
  • The Wildcat: You have no clue what type of coffee-based drink you are going to get, no idea how long ago the coffee was brewed, and no idea if you will like how it tastes.
  • Shale Shaker: This specialty offering is brewed by having water pass over the coffee grinds as they are vibrated through a shale shaker screen to get most of the solids out.
  • Casing Leak: This one is delivered in a patent-pending, proprietary double-walled disposable cup. Its contents are sipped from a special spout on the cup’s annulus.

Post Brew Grind Analysis: In order to maintain a quality and consistent product, geologists and reservoir engineers study the post-brewing grounds to help optimize caffeine recovery.

An experimental “Tailings Pond” coffee that did not make the cut.

Those who have been privy to the company’s trial runs and sample products also rave about the cafe’s unique interior decor. Some of these unique features include brewing machines that look like pump jacks, and a series of functional 1″ and 2″ pipelines that transport milk, cream, water, and other fluids to the barista working area.

The staff at 2P News is looking forward to The Swabbing Cup’s grand opening, which is slated for April 1st, 2014. We will be back with formal review in due course.